Sunday, January 25, 2009

JeremEEEE Indeed! Off-the-Cuff Nats Notes For the Men

Same thing, different event: here’s my blow-by-blow of the televised version of the Men’s Final from Sunday afternoon…

+ Started with, surprise surprise, talk of “the rivalry” between Weir and Lysacek… though the “last time they were here” video flashback thing from 2000 was cute—was that really THAT long ago?

+ And it’s all because Johnny’s skating first on the broadcast. I’m as sorry as anyone else he’s down in 7th (and I’m not just saying that ‘cause I picked him to win), but I find it pretty ironic that the guy who just got quoted all over the wires about this now being a “math” competition ended up blowing it with a simple popped axel. Happened in the old system, happens here.

+ And… watching Weir’s Free Skate… it happens yet AGAIN. Goodness, what a rough year. What a rough skate.

+ Next we see short programs in review. I appreciate their need to do this, but I would’ve preferred to see the rest of the penultimate flight, particularly Adam Rippon (who would end up in 7th when it was all over) and Tommy Steenberg (who moved up to 10th).

+ Interesting discussion here about Weir being named to the team… I really didn’t think he had a chance after that skate, but he’s lobbying, and Scott and Sandra are right behind him. I guess they have a point, but…hmmm.

+ Curran Oi, who was featured here on the blog back on October 3rd, is up first. Triple Axel is a wash, but he made a nice debut. Still, he managed to finish behind Weir.

+ Brandon Mroz is up next. Really nice work, probably more impressive than he was on the GP circuit this season… and wow, a lovely quad to boot! Nifty.

+ The Broadmoor shuffle continues with Ryan Bradley. Will his mambo extravaganza live to see another day—either at Worlds, 4CC’s, or both? I’ll say this much—I can’t believe he landed that quad without a hand touchdown. The rest was kind of expected, though I don’t think I’ve seen him pop a salchow before. Mroz is still in the lead by quite a bit.

+ Lysacek’s turn. When I first saw the tux I thought Hey, same costume, what gives? Then I saw: blue velvet, no bat wings now. I guess it’s better. I still don’t see the need for a bow tie, but what do I know. Falls HARD on that quad—yikes! Pitches forward on the salchow… flip out on 2nd triple axel…the footwork doesn’t flow like it did earlier in the season; it even looked like he was just throwing turns in at the end to fill the music (even though I know that isn’t the case).

Whoa… he’s behind Mroz. Will Evan ever wear the monkey suit again—for any reason—after this season? Note to Tanith Belbin: if you two ever tie the knot, get ready for a casual affair on the shores of Hawaii…

+ Pennington… will he be able to put two back-to-back? Early on, after a huge splat on the first axel, I’m thinking NO. Too bad; this would’ve been a cool story. Wonder how far he’ll slide down the ladder… I’m guessing he’ll go behind Weir (who is 4th at the moment)…he does, and worse, he’s all the way in 7th. Sigh.

+ OK, will he do it? Here comes JeremEEE… ooh, so much concentration here. He looks intense as hell. Awesome lutz. Not so awesome flip, but he saved it. LOVELY triple axel. Salchow happened so effortlessly I almost missed it. Another close save on that 2nd axel combo. Good thing he didn’t need that to be a triple-triple. Popped loop, thought he might try to put that in again later; no, instead he tossed that triple toe on the end of the double axel. So—as with Czisny last night, a somewhat flawed performance but still, arguably the most complete program of the day.

Mroz or Abbott..? Bigger question: will Abbott swear in the K & C?? (He seems to be replacing his curses with “I LOVE KUNG FOOOO”…)

And the answers are Abbott and no, not that I could hear! So NBC will continue to love him as well… as long as they can wipe his autograph off that camera lens…

P.S. I read on Ice Network later tonight that, in fact, Weir has not been named to the Worlds team but has received First Alternate privileges over Bradley. Somewhat surprising, maybe, but I have to say I think it’s fair. Abbott’s clearly on a roll, Lysacek is solid if not one to medal this year in L.A., and even young Mr. Mroz got a little Senior GP action under his belt this year. Weir is the reigning World bronze medalist, but by his own admission, he’s been sick a lot and is under-trained at the moment. Maybe USFS is trying to do him a favor by keeping him home, getting well, rather than continued sickness and stress leading to possible injury that could put the kibosh on a repeat visit to the Olympics next year. Or, maybe not. I think it’s a decent compromise in any case. What do YOU think?


Aaron said...

I think the men's world team is fair. All three of those guys have the experience to handle themselves in that pressure cooker and can back it up with solid skating. Johnny, with some dedicated training time can actually use this to his advantage.

Stella said...

Speaking of Evan's outfit -- his was BY FAR the most inoffensive one out there. Does anyone know if skating schools share a similar aesthetic when it comes to costuming? Or is it left up entirely to the skater?

Jeremy, Ryan, and Brandon all train under the same coach -- and they all wore some sort of sparkly, multi-colored, spandex onesy - of varying degrees of hideousness. Ryan's, at least, went with his program -- it was sort of a latin-flavored lounge lizard get-up. I can't for the life of me figure out what was behind Jeremy's choice in outfit (other than, maybe that's his taste?). The deep v-neck was most upsetting to me, I think.
Though maybe that's what's just fashionable right now in men's figure skating?

Kelli Lawrence said...

Stella, I'm still giggling over the term "onesy"... too funny. And too true.

My knowledge on this sort of thing is very limited, but I believe skaters tend to stick with one particular designer-- at least, until they don't like their designs anymore :-) Perhaps Jeremy and Brandon both use the same designer... whose taste runs towards the sparkly, spangly multi-colored stuff.

There's probably a whole gaggle of theories as to what works and why with skating costumes... taking a look at the subdued outfits of Takahiko Kozuka, for example, the range is mighty wide-reaching!

P.S. I also think the higher-up a skater gets, the more say-so they get in their costumes. Which explains, in part, why Scott Hamilton went virtually sequin-free by the time he competed in Sarajevo :-)